As a veterinarian, I’m always looking for safe and humane ways to include pets in everyday activities and travel. Carrying a dog in a well-made backpack carrier can be ideal for short trips to the clinic or other low-stress outings.
During consultations, I often recommend backpack carriers to clients who need assistance transporting smaller pets. Recently, I took some time to research the most popular carrier options on the market. I was pleased to find numerous high-quality styles that prioritise pet comfort and owner convenience.
However, with so many carriers to choose from, selecting the right one can feel overwhelming. Features like size, ventilation, padding and harness design all factor into whether a carrier will suit an individual pet’s needs.
To help narrow down the options, I’ve put together a guide comparing some of the top-rated backpack carriers based on criteria like weight limits, ease of use and durability. I’ve also included tips for evaluating a pet’s suitability for carrier travel and ensuring proper fit.
By taking time to choose a carrier tailored to their pet’s needs, clients can feel confident their furry companion will have a safe, low-stress experience when accompanying them on excursions outside the home. I hope this research proves useful for anyone looking to include their pet in supervised outings while prioritising their welfare.
The 4 Best Dog Backpack Carriers
No matter the reason that you’re looking for a pet backpack carrier, I am in no doubt that you’ll want to get the best bang for your buck and a carrier that’s going to be safe, comfortable and will stand the test of time.
After reviewing several different products, I feel confident that the ones in the list below are among some of the very best.
1. Pawaboo Pet Carrier Backpack
The Pawaboo pet carrier backpack comes in a fantastic range of colours and patterns so if you’re a pet owner that likes to strut their stuff, this might be the one for you.
But looks aren’t everything and the Pawaboo delivers in so many other ways, for example, it allows your pet’s head to remain exposed which means fewer worries about breathability. What’s more, the backpack can be worn on the front or back and comes with wide padded shoulder straps for your own comfort.
However, I should point out that there aren’t any waist straps which might not make this ideal for longer distances.
On the plus side, the Pawaboo is made from high quality materials which are layered for comfort and durability. There is also a choice of sizes so there’s something to suit every pet.
Pros and Cons
2. BEIKOTT Cat/Dog Carriers Backpack
One of the first things that stood out to me about the BEIKOTT cat/dog carriers backpack was the robust design. The backpack is made from Oxford fabric which is not only durable but also waterproof and very resistant. There’s also a PU front panel which is very strong but it should be kept in mind that this does make the backpack less breathable and therefore it may not be suitable for use in hot weather. That said, there are a good number of air holes.
The BEIKOTT carrier backpack comes in a few different colours and features adjustable shoulders straps to ensure your comfort.
What’s more, this carrier backpack is incredibly easy to use and features a front panel that opens fully, allowing you to get your pet inside without a fuss. Plus it comes with a free collapsible pet bowl which is really useful when you’re out for the whole day.
3. Morpilot Pet Carrier
The Morpilot pet carrier is one of the safest backpacks out there for pets and comes with an internal safety strap, lockable zips and a reflective strip for use at night or in low light. What’s more, the manufacturer has your pet’s comfort at the forefront of their mind with features like plenty of mesh panels and a comfortable, removable inner mat.
In the interests of fairness, I should point out that the Morpilot pet carrier has received some poor reviews in terms of durability. That said, it is made from polyester which is known to be strong but with the reviews in mind, I would perhaps recommend this one for occasional use and nothing too heavy duty.
While the carrier does only come in one colour, there is a choice of sizes so you can find something that perfectly fits your pet. Plus, like the BEIKOTT, this one also comes with a free pet bowl which is a nice additional touch.
4. Pecute Cat Carrier Dog Backpack
Finally, I wanted to talk about the Pecute cat carrier dog backpack which is one of the more versatile offerings on this list. The reason for this is that the backpack comes in an excellent choice of styles, each catering to a specific need.
What’s more, I was really impressed with how secure the Pecute backpack carrier is. It comes with lockable zips and an internal security strap. Moreover, it’s super comfortable for both you and your pet with a padded inside as well as generously padded shoulder straps which can be adjusted to your size.
However, some of the designs of the Pecute cat carrier dog backpack are a little bulky. If you’re looking for something more compact and easy to carry then this might not be the right option for you.
Tips For Choosing A Pet Carrier Backpack
All of the pet carriers I have discussed above are excellent and suit a variety of needs. However, it’s important to assess the features of any given backpack carrier and compare these to the needs of you and your pet. This can go a long way in helping you choose the right product but it’s not the only thing you need to think about.
Below, you’ll find some helpful tips that will make selecting a backpack carrier for your small dog or cat much simpler. Plus, these tips will ensure you get something that’s safe, comfortable and easy to use.
Are Pet Carrier Backpacks Good for my Pets Health? – A Veterinary Professionals Perspective
As veterinary professionals, we want to ensure the safety and comfort of all pets under our care. When choosing a pet carrier for travel or visits to the vet clinic, there are some important factors to consider from an animal welfare standpoint. Backpack-style carriers can be a good option, as they allow the pet owner to keep their hands free while transporting their furry friend. However, it is crucial that any carrier, including backpacks, are well-ventilated with openings for adequate airflow. Being enclosed in a confined space can cause pets to overheat if the carrier traps heat. The material should also be easy to clean, as accidents can happen when pets feel anxious.
Backpack carriers tend to distribute the pet’s weight evenly against the owner’s back, reducing strain compared to traditional hard-shell carriers. This makes them a suitable choice for owners with mobility issues or for traveling longer distances with their pet. However, it is still important to monitor pets for signs of overexertion such as heavy panting. Frequent rest breaks may be needed for brachycephalic breeds like Pugs or Persian cats who can struggle with heat regulation. The straps of the backpack should fit snugly but not too tightly, and padding is recommended for maximum comfort.
From a clinical standpoint, backpack carriers allow for easier handling of pets compared to hard plastic carriers. They provide veterinary staff better access to pets for exams, procedures, or treatment while keeping both pet and owner comfortable. Overall, backpack carriers can be a good choice when selected carefully with the pet’s welfare and owner ergonomics in mind. As veterinary professionals, we aim to make stressful events like vet visits as low-stress as possible for our furry patients.
One of the most crucial things to think about when choosing a pet carrier backpack is how it’s going to feel when you’re wearing it. This is especially important if you’re going to be carrying your pet over long distances as the last thing you want is a bad back and sore shoulders from the experience.
Opting for a backpack with shoulder, waist and chest straps will help to distribute the weight evenly. While these products are typically designed for smaller animals, their weight can become a burden over a longer period of time if you don’t have the right support.
Moreover, I would always recommend going for a carrier whose straps are padded as this will drastically improve your own comfort. Some straps are even made with mesh to make them more breathable which is ideal in summer or on long hikes when things may get a little sweaty.
Just as important as your own comfort is that of your pet. Nobody wants their beloved furry friend to feel miserable in the backpack carrier.
That’s why I always recommend choosing a carrier that’s the right size for your pet. Manufacturers typically offer a size chart and it’s vital that you measure and weigh your pet to get the most safe and comfortable fit. Your pet will need to have room to move around and stretch but the backpack shouldn’t be so big that your cat or dog slides around when inside.
What’s more, choosing a backpack carrier that benefits from mesh panels will keep the air flowing and prevent your pet from overheating. This is an essential feature that I wouldn’t recommend leaving out.
Inside a lot of backpack carriers, you’ll find that there’s a removable mat which makes for easy cleaning. However, I would advise choosing one that benefits from padding as this will make a more comfortable base for your pet to sit on.
Materials And Durability
As I have mentioned, backpack carriers are usually designed for smaller animals but that doesn’t mean that their weight won’t cause inferior materials to wear quickly. For this reason, I’d always suggest going for something that’s made from a high quality and durable material, like polyester, for example.
In terms of durability, anti-scratch material is also worth considering, especially if your pet is prone to clawing. This will ensure that the backpack remains in good condition for as long as possible.
Some pet carrier backpacks come with a rain cover that goes over the top mesh panel and this is ideal if you live in an area where the weather is unpredictable. However, I would recommend going for something like an Oxford fabric for this component over plastic or PU material as these are not as breathable.
Your pet’s safety is of the utmost importance and there are a few features you can look out for to ensure this. For starters, I’d always recommend choosing a carrier whose zips can be locked so there’s no risk of your pet finding its way out and becoming lost.
On top of this, an internal security leash is a must so that, in the unlikely event zips fail, there’s an added layer of protection against a missing pet. Plus, this feature keeps your cat or small dog secure as you’re moving around.
Another safety feature that I think is really important is a reflective strip. This isn’t something you’ll find on every backpack carrier but plenty have one. If you’re planning on taking your pet out at night, this just gives you the peace of mind that you’ll always be visible.
There are some pet backpack carriers that come with additional features that just make life easier. What’s great about this is that you often don’t have to pay much more for the privilege. If you’re planning to take your pet on long hikes, camping or on a family day out, these features are invaluable.
They might include things like a collapsible pet bowl which comes in handy for offering water and snacks. Other common features include side pockets where you can store things like poop bags and your own personal belongings so you don’t have to take an extra bag.
The great thing about pet carrier backpacks is that they don’t cost the earth. However, as with anything, there are some that are more expensive than others. You often get what you pay for so I would urge you to look at the materials, safety and comfort features and compare these with the price that is being asked.
But the good news is that you can usually pick up a very high quality backpack carrier in the region of £20-£30. Of course, how much you spend will also depend on how often you intend on using the carrier.
If you’re buying it for a one off trip then you may be inclined to spend a little less. As long as it is safe and comfortable then spending less isn’t a crime. On the other hand, if you want something to take your companion with you every day for the foreseeable future then you may wish to invest in something a little more expensive with more features.
Being a 5th year Vet student and having a passion for improving the health and welfare of all animals, I am providing AblePaws.co.uk with a veterinary perspective / insight into the real word applications, including strengths and limitations of the products it reviews. This will allow you to make an informed decision as to the suitability of the pet products reviewed on the site to keep your pet mobile, comfortable and full of life!